From the Blog

CEO Engagement Challenge Reflections – Tech Breaks & Meditation

We’re now in the home stretch – week three of the CEO Engagement Challenge. If you’ve made it this far, we hope you’ve been learning more about yourself and your employees. If you haven’t been able to keep up, don’t worry! We encourage you to jump in this week and tackle a few of our last challenges such as visiting a customer and meeting five new employees.

Here’s what I’ve been up to the past week.

Day 8: Send someone a thank you note

Today I wrote a note to someone leaving our company. Taking a few minutes to put (actual) pen to paper to thank this person was cathartic. Thanking one specific person is like taking a refreshing dip in a vast ocean of the gratitude we feel toward all of our spouses, children, employees, customers, partners, providers, investors, advisors, friends and promoters.

Day 9: Take a 4-hour technology break

We had an all-day planning session at Limeade, which made this easy. Other than an hour of slide-sharing, the day was all about collaboration, ideation and prioritization, punctuated by meditations, an all-company plank exercise, stretching sessions – and finally a 45-minute long “walking brainstorm.” Here was the agenda:

Screen Shot 2013 12 16 at 11.08.58 AM - CEO Engagement Challenge Reflections - Tech Breaks & Meditation

Planking 1 - CEO Engagement Challenge Reflections - Tech Breaks & Meditation

After spending a whole day speaking, listening, sharing, walking, and only occasionally taking out the smartphone to take pictures, I can say this was my favorite work day of the year.

Day 10: Schedule a workout in your calendar

On Day 10, I replied “in” to Sunday morning hoops.

Day 11: Have lunch with someone new

I drove over to the headquarters of one of the greatest consumer brands in history, and had some great Bánh mì with a leading expert in the field of employee analytics. We discussed econometrics, statistics, and the reasons PhDs in Organizational Psychology and marketers (brand, digital and otherwise) will change the world for the better. It was also a good reminder that even in huge companies, most decisions are still made by gut, and myths need to be continuously created, told and busted. My hypothesis that I would enjoy meeting this delightful person was confirmed.

Day 12: Meditate for 10 minutes

I decided to take my 10 minutes of meditation toward the end of Saturday during one of the most stressful car rides of the year. My delightful wife schlepped five children (six counting me) to a girls’ basketball tournament in Fall City, in the dark foothills of the Cascades, to a school that apparently opted out of street signs.

Unbeknownst (until now) to my (did I mention delightful?) wife and others, I took 8-second in, 8-second-out deep breaths for half the ride and focused on the movement of the wheels over concrete. I found that even in chaos there is always time to reorient your thoughts. And those few minutes may just keep you from being “that Dad” at your daughters’ games.

Day 13: Eat 3 healthy home-cooked meals.

Not exactly the report card I want to bring home today…

  • Breakfast: Does a bowl of super healthy, high-protein cereals (with some Frosted Flakes® on top), with 1% milk and a mug of black coffee count? Grade: D. Probably OK on the ‘healthy’ and ‘home-’ fronts, not so much ‘cooked’. At least I enjoyed it, at home with the family, and got to hoops on time.
  • Lunch: I had a handful of almonds and some leftover chicken with a V-8 at home. Then I drove to the airport and had some “Sriracha® Turkey Loaf with Avocado” prepared by Erica Smith, AKA Limeade’s Rachel Ray, and a few bites of a crappy airport turkey wrap, washed down with Ethos® water. Grade: C+. Healthy enough, much of it home-cooked by someone, and Ethos will send a nickel to charity.
  • Dinner: This shaped up to be a working restaurant meal in the South where it was “deep-fried week.” Grade: F. Far from home, not home-cooked.

Have I become a nutrition freak, while developing almost no capacity for cooking for others? That’s a bad combo only Rachel Ray can remedy.

Sign Up For The CEO Engagement Challenge

It’s not too late to sign up! Download the full calendar to receive 21 days of challenges. Share your insights in the comments below or on Twitter @Limeade and #ceoEC.

Want to read about my earlier challenges? Check out my posts on reconnecting with an old friendwalking meetings and playing brain games.